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Heliotrope is a dark-colored mineral with red inclusions. Its name is derived from the two Greek words helios and trepein, meaning sun and turn. 

Heliotrope in history

The Heliotrope was named the stone of Babylon by Albertus Magnus, referring to the magical properties of the stone ascribed to it since antique. The famous naturalist Pliny the Elder described in the first century that magicians use this stone to achieve invisibility. Three centuries later, Damigeron described the stone's ability to cause rain as well as solar eclipses and divination. In the Christian tradition, the red stains on the stone were made of the blood that fell from the body of Jesus during his crucifixion.

Roman soldiers believed that wearing this stone slowed down the bleeding. The ancient Greeks and Romans also believed that heliotrope talismans would protect against poisonous animals, and the athletes of that time chose it as an amulet that brought success in games. In India, it was believed that bleeding could be stopped by soaking a stone in cold water and applying it to the wound, which may have little scientific evidence. The Gnostics wore the heliotrope as an amulet to ensure longevity, wealth and courage, and to strengthen the stomach.

Properties of heliotrope

A dark green, almost black stone with red inclusions is quite unusual in nature. The red spots are actually contaminants with iron oxide, which gives many minerals a red or pink color. Due to the varied composition of the stone, the green is sometimes interspersed with blue, cream or yellow streaks.

The hardness of the Heliotrope is between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. This means that the stone is durable and used in jewelry will not break during its creation or use.

Heliotrope findings

Interesting patterns and spots in the structure of the heliotrope make it an excellent decorative stone. Most often it is available in the form of smooth polished beads or cabochons. Its intriguing and quite dark colors make it exceptionally well suited for creating men's accessories.

You can easily combine heliotrope semi-products with any color of metal, from silver, through copper and antique bronze, to gold. The more interesting patterns the stone presents, the fewer additions and accessories you need to create effective jewelry from it!

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Mateusz Koniarski

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